The Vampire Diaries Season 3 Episode 18

The Murder of One doesn't, of course, include the one-in-five boom we were promised.  Why would it?  It's not like they're linked.  And, of course, we have four episodes still to go.   

I'm joking, mostly. Finally, after so much marching in place, this episode brought together many of the finest parts of what they've been trying to set up all season.  Klaus and his rotating cast of frenemy siblings, Damon paying for having toyed with Rebecca, even Sage seemed to serve a purpose, if only to humanize Finn so we'd be kind of sad when he was torched.   

I'm pissed off that the coolest element of the siblings was eradicated in one go - the fact that one equals all - even though they tried to balance it out with the idea that one vampire's death means the death of all their turns (which, if you think about it, kind of makes more sense anyway).  But I love how Elena was all “We'll just kill whoever didn't make Caroline! and Damon! and half the other people in this town who we don't know are vampires anyway!"  Oh, and Caroline's memory that Tyler would be killed if Klaus went down was the first time anyone in the audience thought about Tyler in a hell of a long time.  Sorry, Michael Trevino, but I don't think you're coming back to star on the Mystic Falls football team, do you?

This was supposed to be a character episode, bringing forth the revelation of who people are when they're forced to make horrible choices.  My issue, though, is that this kind of episode seems to bring forth Elena at her most irritating.  I feel like I was beating this drum last year around this time: the higher the drama gets, the more she is doggedly assured of what she should do but somehow always in the most sanctimonious way possible.  Even when she realizes that all her vampire friends and lovers will be affected, she's somehow blasé, saving all her emotion for what Stefan will think when he realizes that if she could have had that fantasy that Damon had, she would have.  And, given that Elena seems primed to be kidnapped by Klaus next week, maybe she'll get the opportunity after all.

I do appreciate that Bonnie is being asked to make some big choices, and is replying like a normal person would, answering the question "are you okay" with "I don't know", rather than moral fortitude.  For all of you who have been keenly missing the lack of Bonnie, don't you think the lack of her the last few weeks made this have more of an impact?  I think they're definitely muddying the waters with the whole “mom left because she's a vampire/I mean because she's a deadbeat” thing, but no matter how strong or supernatural Bonnie and all the others are, they're doing this for the first time, and are really actually 18; hurting this much may become commonplace but for now, it matters.

Given that everyone wound up being as loyal as they were supposed to, there's less to say until next week, but I will point out that Alaric's alter ego isn't going to have much point until we actually see that it's him (or his body's inhabitant) doing the killing, although did you hear that Aunt Jenna is going to make an appearance?  That should send him for a loop.  Furthermore, whomever was doing the sound design on Damon's ripping flesh can congratulate him or herself and then please take a break next week.  I'm not naive enough to think they won't be back in full force before the end of the season though.